ASEAN members seek cooperation in natural disaster assistance

VIENTIANE -- As many as 57 delegates from national disaster management offices of member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered here Wednesday to seek ways for future cooperation in natural disaster assistance.

The meeting, which is scheduled to run through Thursday, will inform progress and key issues of priority programs under the working group's purview, namely disaster risk assessment, prevention and mitigation, knowledge and innovation management, preparedness and response, and lastly recovery, Director General of the Social Welfare Department of the Lao Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare Prasong Vongkhamchanh said at the meeting.

In addition, the meeting will be updated on the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, followed by Operationalizing One ASEAN One Response, which includes the sustainability of the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Center (AHA Center), review of the ASEAN Joint Disaster Response Plan, guidelines for ASEAN to respond to disasters outside the region and activation of the Secretary General of ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Coordinator, reported Lao daily Vientiane Times on Wednesday.

The ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management has played a key role in implementing AADMER and the ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN One Response, Prasong was quoted as saying.

According to Lao Minister of Labor and Social Welfare Khampheng Saysompheng, Laos is prioritizing disaster management activities in the national socio-economic plan.

Activities have been integrated into disaster management work of the health and education sectors.

A disaster preparedness and response network has also been established at the community level to provide training to all sectors especially for climate change, floods and droughts, storms, diseases, epidemics and landslides, he added.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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